The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel ★★★★½

"Keep your hands off my lobby boy!" - Monsieur Gustave H.

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Wes Anderson hadn't really clicked with me. He was very much style over substance and felt a little overwhelming. In fact, my first encounter with him was a quaint little Christmas commercial and then I was confused, by enthralled by its unique style and whimsical nature. I eventually stumbled upon Isle of Dogs and I really liked that, but I didn't love it. Then I watch The French Dispatch and became overwhelmed. It was just a lot for me. This was the film that really clicked for me.

It never felt too focused on the world or the style. It acted more as a backdrop in comparison to his recent endeavors. He knew when to draw back and when to fully commit. And this world is completely lived in and alive. Despite being completely Wes, it felt like a real place, which is remarkable for such a stylized world.

The film is gorgeous to look at with its seamless changes of aspect ratio (takes notes Snyder) and transitions from scene to scene, meticulous cinematography, wonderful score, hilarious script, and lovably quirky characters that are quite endearing from the start. It also has a huge heart beating under it, which seems to have dissipated in time. But the thing that impressed me the most was its crescendo of chaos which made everything all the more hilarious and entertaining.

The cast is really great as well! Tony Revolori (Young Zero Mustafa), Willem Dafoe (J.G. Jopling), F. Murray Abraham (Old Zero Mustafa), Jude Law (Young Writer), Mathieu Almaric (Serge X.) and Saorise Ronan (Agatha) were great and Tilda Swinton (Madame Celine Villeneuve Desgoffe-und-Taxis) and Edward Norton (Inspector Albert Henckels) were hilarious. Ralph Fiennes (Monsieur Gustave H.) delivers once again a top-notch performance with a role that you could feel he was born to play and Adrien Brody (Dmitri Desgoffe-und-Taxis) gave my favorite performance of his. He was also hilarious as he was intimidating.

Truly a wonderful film!


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